#MIEExpert Reminisces on Shifting Perspectives

When I let my Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert status lapse, I did so on purpose. It's nice to break free a bit of what you've been doing (not that free, I'm still facilitating workshops on Microsoft products). I'm considering doing the same for my Google Educator certifications. Try out different perspectives, enjoying expanding my Stop Doing list.

To understand one side is to have knowledge, but to know both is to have wisdom. 

- Abraham Lincoln
Recently, I've been reading a lot of John Hattie's books, brushing up on reciprocal teaching approaches, and wonder about the T3 framework from Dr. Sonny Magana. All of that reading has shifted my perspective about instructional strategies. What I once THOUGHT I knew has been called into question. That is to say, research about what DOES work flushed my ideas of what I THOUGHT worked right down the toilet. What's left is well...worth cleaning out. Yuck. Why did I use that analogy? Ugh.

To balance those shifting perspectives, it helps to focus on information that feels familiar but maybe shouldn't be. It's too easy to get complacent with the familiar, so it's important to shake it up a bit. One way to do that has been to keep reading news about my favorite ecosystems (e.g. Google and Microsoft), then ask, "How could they have handled this better?"

For example, I was delighted to read that Windows Defender ranked one of the best antivirus solutions.

When Stuff Works Great

Did you know that Windows Defender can save you money and annoyance most paid/free antivirus solutions bring? A snippet to get you caught up:
There once was a time when Microsoft’s Windows Defender was regarded as one of the worst options when it came to protecting your PC. But the free antivirus software has matured in recent years, and has just been ranked the joint top product in AV-Test’s latest report. AV's test results show that Windows Defender managed to block 100 percent of its 307-sample zero-day malware corpus and 100 percent of its 2,428-sample general test corpus. The software was also shown to have little performance impact.
A year or two ago, I was an enthusiastic proponent of BitDefender. I not only used the paid version on all my Windows 10 computers, but I also encouraged others to install the free for personal, home use. Then I read somewhere, Windows Defender could do the job. Now, I look at old blog posts encouraging folks to adopt an antivirus solution (e.g. Avast, AVG, BitDefender Free, etc) and I realize that Windows Defender has made all those solution...well, obsolete. That's not unlike the effect of Hattie's effect size on instructional strategies. Once you know things don't work as well as they should, why bother?

With Windows Defender in place on my Windows 10 computers for over a year, I'm happy to report that I've not suffered one virus/malware incursion. Wow! Simply,Windows Defender works great. I could test this by going to some weird website, but I'd rather not tempt fate.
[Windows Defender] boasts real-time analysis tools, cloud-based protection and malware removal, and you won't have to view ads or add extras on to keep your PC protected. There is no premium version, either, so there are no nagging messages or popups asking you to upgrade.
Secondly, there's no need to install anything, or download anything besides routine and necessary updates that can be handled through Windows Update. Windows Defender is built into the Windows operating system and just turning on Windows 10 will give you full access to the antivirus platform (Source).
So...dump that antivirus program that's been sprouting advertisements and switch to only using Windows Defender.


I was a bit less enthused about this announcement: Microsoft cuts Office 2019 one-time licenses through Home Use Program. Some insights include:
Both Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 have been removed as options for one-off licenses under the program. Instead, HUP will give a 30% discount on annual subscriptions to Office software. Office 365 Personal will run HUP members $48.99 a year, and Office 365 Home will cost them $69.99 annually. The feature sets of the two subscriptions are the same, including premium versions of Microsoft programs, 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and OneDrive ransomware detection. The Home version supports up to six people, and Personal is for an individual.
Really? $69.99 if I want to use Office 365 at home? Please, this subscription model garbage has to stop! It makes me want to...ok, dare I say it? Sure, why not, I'm not an MIE Expert anymore. Now, Microsoft does offer (and has for awhile) free Microsoft Office 365 (but the online version that is...well...crippled when you compare it to the installable version for your computer):
Students and educators are eligible for Office 365 Education for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools. All you need is a valid school email address. It’s not a trial – so get started today.
Why aren't we, educators,  encouraging LibreOffice, or Openoffice, for use at home by students, faculty and staff? It works quite well, offering more features than most educators, much less students and their parents, will ever need. 

And, students don't lose access to OneNote, which is completely no cost (thanks, Microsoft! OneNote with Immersive Reader is awesome!). And, that's even if they need to use anything else but G Suite for home or G Suite EDU.

Aside: In Memoriam
While writing this blog entry, I remembered someone whom I had corresponded with about Free, Open Source Software (FOSS) like OpenOffice and LibreOffice, Solveig Haugland. So, I said, "Wow, I haven't seen any posts of her's recently." The truth is, I haven't seen anything for years so I did a quick Google search. And, discovered Solveig had passed away in 2015 at the age of 48. What a sad surprise. I was going to write this as a separate blog entry but I'm going to leave this here and just say, "Farewell, Solveig. I appreciated your dedication to free software and the tutorials you authored to support others as a technical writer."

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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